I don’t even know where to start with this episode, except to say that it blew me away, in the best possible way. There were several twists I saw coming, and a couple I did not. And most of them were amaaaazing.
So. Important things of note: Fitz is still horrifyingly cold, evil, and under Aida’s thumb – but now we know a little more about why he is this way in the Framework. Basically, major daddy issues. His dad (or at least, the Framework version of him) is definitely a candidate for Worst TV Dad Who Didn’t Actually Kill His Son. I’m so glad Real Life Fitz escaped from him. However, I’m increasingly worried that our Fitz will still be seriously damaged by all of this even when he gets out of the Framework. There was a glimmer of hope, that he was disturbed by killing Agnes … but then his dad quashed that, apparently. Oh, Fitz. Sadface.
May: oh, May. She set up Mace’s death (nooooo, Mace!), but she recognized his heroism at the end. Plus, she was horrified at the idea of killing children, even after the Framework’s version of the Bahrain incident. No one should ever, ever underestimate Melinda May. Not only is she a freaking badass – how many of you watching were scared by the idea of Framework!May with boosted strength? I was! – but her soul seems to be just about unbreakable. Thank goodness. And that was even before the awesomeness that was the end of the episode. I’ll get to that. I do wonder whether the fact that she was wearing a bodycam during the final confrontation with Mace in the building will be a problem for her.
Mace: aw, Mace. I’m going to miss him. I think it was very fitting that he got to be the Patriot for real in the Framework, and died a true hero. I wonder who will be the new Director of Fake!SHIELD for the remainder of the time we spend in the Framework? For me, I’d prefer Tripp(!) over Ward. Sorry, Ward. (But not that sorry).
That brings me to Ward. He certainly doesn’t seem like a triple agent who’s actually evil. Watching his interactions with Simmons re: what has meaning and what doesn’t in the context of the Framework was quite interesting. It was weird that he was the one who pointed out to Simmons (with Coulson) that she might need to change her beliefs on that point. Although of course, seeing Mack with his daughter was bound to soften anyone’s heart, especially Simmons’. Still not looking forward to the moment when Mack realizes Hope isn’t real. Which sounds even worse than it is, actually.
Next up: Aida and Radcliffe. First of all, it seems that Aida can go in and out of the Framework – unless she’s doubled herself a la Ultron. Not too surprising, I suppose. Plus, we had further confirmation this week that Madame Hydra is going by the name Ophelia in the Framework. Anyone else curious about where this version of Madame Hydra came from? Like, did Aida find the ‘real’ Ophelia in the Framework and take over her identity? But either way, Aida offering Daisy Lincoln in exchange for where she and Simmons are in the real world – ouch. She’s a devious one, that Aida. Also have to wonder why she hasn’t just put Radcliffe out of his misery. Maybe that goes against what remains of her programming. Radcliffe’s discussion with Daisy of how much effect one choice or even one sentence can have on someone’s life was heartbreaking. Still, I have trouble trusting him at this point; I really hope he was telling Daisy the truth about the backdoor he left in the Framework.
Tripp! So delightful to see him again! It seems the Framework/this show giveth and the Framework/this show taketh away. I wouldn’t mind at all if he stuck around for the rest of the season somehow, though I suppose we’ll have to say goodbye again when everyone gets back to the real world. Alas.
In other news, Coulson is still Coulson, going back in at the Hydra “Enlightenment Cultivation Center” to save the kids he betrayed as their teacher. Also, I loved his “Snap out of it, May!” comment. I’d bet large sums of money that he was a big part of May coming to the realizations she did.
Last but far from least: Daisy!! “Beaten to within an inch of her life. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Hell yes, she did. (BTW: interesting that Fitz has gotten all of the current political reference lines so far, with his talk of Making Hydra/the Country Great Again a few episodes ago). When May went into Daisy’s cell at the end, I was really hoping to see May do something awesome instead of just tormenting her further. And of course she did. I loved their exchange of meaningful looks as the Terrigen started to take effect. More than that, though, I cannot wait to see Quake take down the Hydra Triskelion – with May standing beside her. Awww yeah.
What did you think of this week’s episode? What was your favorite surprise? Let us know in the comments!